Grandville Pediatric Dentists West Michigan

The Dangers of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle On Table

The Dangers of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle On Table

All parents want the best for their children. Because of this, it can be easy to rely on bottles or cups filled with sweet liquids if they deliver much needed comfort and relaxation. Unfortunately, our Grandville, MI, pediatric dentists warn that frequent or prolonged exposure to drinks containing sugar can make your child susceptible to tooth decay.

Keep reading to learn more about baby bottle tooth decay and steps you can take to prevent early childhood oral complications in your infant or toddler.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

The definition of baby bottle tooth decay is right in the name. It is a term commonly used to describe oral decay present in infants and toddlers, often in the upper front teeth though others can be affected as well. Cavities during this time are typically put in motion through regular consumption of sugary drinks, sometimes given during bedtime or in place of a pacifier. This can affect a child’s baby teeth and can have lasting consequences.

Most often, tooth decay of this nature can appear as white spots at the gum line. If found, you should take your child into our Grandville, MI, pediatric dental office for an oral exam. Our team of dentists will treat them carefully to stop the decay from spreading further. Treatment can include a cleaning, a filling, or a custom dental crown depending on the condition of the tooth.

Should I Be Worried About It?

Yes, tooth decay is something that you should be conscious of and take steps to curb. However, the mere possibility shouldn’t keep you up at night or make you fearful of feeding your child sugar.

If you want to prevent cavity development, our dentists recommend going on the offensive with an oral hygiene routine designed to help your child. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, receiving teeth cleanings every 6 months, and limiting sugar intake to a healthier amount will all benefit their smile.

Related Post4 Ways to Make Brushing Teeth Fun

There are a variety of factors that play into tooth decay. If you’re not careful, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from parent to infant through the shared use of a feeding utensil. A lack of fluoride can also translate to an increased risk of decay. It’s important to remember, however, that tooth decay is preventable.

Prevention Tips to Counter Decay

Childhood cavitiesdo not have to be a part of your child’s life. There are many ways that you as a parent can keep their teeth clean and free from decay. Young children do not yet understand the importance of good oral health. But you do and you can help them.

Protect your child from tooth decay by:

  • Gently wiping their gums with a clean washcloth before teeth have erupted
  • Brushing their teeth 2 times a day for 2 minutes. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste until age 3 then advance to a pea-sized amount until age 6
  • Not filling bottles with sugar water, juice, or soft drinks
  • Not giving children bottles at bedtime or allowing them to fall asleep while feeding
  • Providing clean pacifiers – not ones dipped in sugar or honey
  • Encouraging your child to drink from cups by age 1 if possible
  • Feeding them healthy, balanced meals and snacks
  • Speaking with our pediatric dentists about dental sealants for extra protection

Yes – Baby Teeth are Important!

Just because baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth does not mean they should be neglected. Not caring for your child’s primary teeth can put them at risk for premature tooth loss, cavities, dental fillings, and unwanted infections.

Oral hygiene habits should be formed when your child is still very young. Our pediatric dentists recommend parents use a silicone finger slip brush as teeth start to erupt. After age 1, feel free to swap that out for a toothbrush with a small head.

Learn MoreHow to “Brush” Before Teeth

We understand that it can be difficult to get babies or toddlers to cooperate when you’re encouraging daily brushing and flossing. It’s best to think out of the box. Incorporate fun into your child’s dental routine with games, music, and weekly rewards. When children associate excitement with oral hygiene, they’re bound to stick to good behavior.

Schedule a Cleaning Today

Starting your child on the path toward pearly whites early on in their life is key. Take the time to teach them the proper teeth brushing technique and have fun with oral hygiene. Our pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI, will gladly answer any questions you have and give your child a proper dental cleaning.

Request an appointment today by calling Grandville Pediatric Dentistry at (616) 531-3430 or contact us online.

This blog post has been updated.

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